Internet services were barred in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur on Tuesday following tension between the upper caste Rajputs and the OBC Gurjar community over a ‘gaurav yatra’.
According to the report in The Indian Express, the police have taken 40 people into custody for taking out the yatra defying prohibitory orders.
“While the Gurjar community said the king belonged to their caste and that they had every right to take out a yatra in his name, the Rajputs said Bhoj was a Rajput king and insisted that no one else would be allowed to take out such a procession,” it said.
The report quoting a senior police official said: “Additional companies of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) have been sent from Meerut and heavy police deployment has been made in Saharanpur to avert a possible clash between the two castes.”
“We are keeping a close watch on social media and have also appealed to the people not to pay heed to rumours. We have taken 40 people in custody for taking out the yatra despite the local administration denying permission for the same,” the above official was quoted as having said.
The report also said prohibitory orders under CrPC section 144 were imposed in the area, while the police had also denied permission for the yatra.
“On Monday afternoon, however, a few hundred people from the Gurjar community assembled in Saharanpur’s Phandpuri village. Though a police force was already deputed in the area to prevent them, the participants assured the officers that they will return after walking a short distance,” it said.
It added: “As the yatra marched ahead, the crowd swelled to thousands and continued to move forward, removing barricades and leaving the police struggling to control them. Ignoring repeated police warnings, the crowd completed the full yatra and returned to Phandipur village.”